HOT DISH: Finishing Brad’s Baby Tale

Country Star -- and Jokester -- Calls to Explain the Rest of the Story

(CMT Hot Dish is a weekly feature written by former Country Music magazine columnist Hazel Smith. Author of the cookbook, Hazel’s Hot Dish: Cookin’ With Country Stars, she also shares her recipes at CMT.com.)

Writing and singing songs like “Me Neither” and “I’m Gonna Miss Her,” Brad Paisley — like the late Roger Miller — is a jokester, a gagster, a comedic guy.

When the phone rang, it was my friend Brad, whom I first met at ASCAP when he was working there as an intern and still in college. So, as you can imagine, I saw him go through girlfriends, looking for girlfriends and two marriage proposals to me (the latter from Brad, the jokester). Then the beautiful actress, Kimberly Williams, not only became Brad’s wife, she cured his wandering eyes.

On the phone Brad said, “I read your column. You didn’t finish the story.”

“What?” I answered. “What are you talking about?”

If you missed my column last week, the very first item was about a conversation Brad and I had at the ASCAP offices during a recent No. 1 party for “Mud on the Tires.” When I asked if he and Kim were going to have a baby, Brad — always a jokester — replied, “Kim wants one.” I was stunned!

I heard Brad’s next line, saw the twinkle in his eyes and heard the giggle, but it went right over the top of my head when he added, “She wants a puppy.”

I mean, he said she “wants one.” I heard the puppy line, but it did not register.

To the Paisleys in West Virginia and the Williams family in upstate New York, don’t go buying strollers and diapers. Plenty of newspapers and dog food will be sufficient.

Fans, there is not a Paisley baby in the plans. Brad is in the recording studio in Nashville, and Kim is in Los Angeles as she winds down another season of ABC-TV’s According to Jim with Jim Belushi.

They’re gonna get a brown and white puppy. “A mutt,” said Brad before we hung up the phone.

Today With Phil, Kenny and Keith
Congratulations to Phil Vassar, his songwriter wife Julie Wood and songwriter-jingle producer Randy Wachtler after their song was chosen as a theme to promote NBC’s Today. Phil will sing the song, “Live for Today,” in the show’s promotions in May. Most of all, congrats to the Today staff for having the good taste to choose a song they could hum — a country song. If you can’t hum it, it ain’t a country hit.

Kenny Chesney has previously expressed how cute he thinks Today host Katie Couric is. Now I learn Today will broadcast from the Opryland Hotel in Music Town on April 28. Couric’s gonna be there, and — glory be — Chesney will perform three songs on the show. Such are the ingredients of a good country song.

All this leads me to wonder, “Is Katie chasing Kenny since her scathing remark that she couldn’t imagine going out on a date with a guy who wore smaller pants than hers?” Listen, I know these proud and free hillbilly boys like I know good desserts, and they don’t want to hear about some female making even a slightly snide remark about the size of anything — namely their britches.

Maybe Katie won’t make it to Twang Town since sexy Keith Urban stops at Today to perform live on April 14. Will Keith tell Katie that Kenny is still limping from his ankle injury?

Trace Adkins Does the Grilling
As I told you last week, Trace Adkins cooked up a summer partnership with Waffle House. Well, Trace is serious about his sponsor and their goodies. Recently, he actually got behind a Waffle House counter in Brentwood, Tenn., and grilled burgers. Hey, if you doubt me, Trace has photos to prove it.

Stuff You Want to Know
The Gibson name is on Earl Scruggs’ banjo. Gibson was on Bill Monroe’s mandolin. Lo and behold, the musical instrument company has put its name on what was previously known as the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles. Somebody said Gibson is paying a cool million dollars a year for this privilege. Wonder if they’d like to put the name Gibson on my house?

Buddy Jewell removed his hat and sang the national anthem at the Food City 500 Nextel Cup race. Buddy is bragging about meeting NASCAR greats Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart.

The smartest person ever born in the state of Tennessee is Dolly Parton. Dolly just celebrated the 20th anniversary of her Dollywood theme park located near her east Tennessee birthplace. During the big event, Dolly announced that there’s talk of building a Dollywood in Nashville. Lord knows, we’ve needed another theme park ever since Opryland was torn down and shipped off.

Nice guy Craig Morgan is thanking radio for his four weeks at No. 1 with his latest single, “That’s What I Like About Sunday.”

Academy of Country Music top new artist nominees Big & Rich, Josh Gracin, Julie Roberts, Josh Turner and Gretchen Wilson will appear at the ACM’s New Artists Show at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on May 16 — the eve of the ACM Awards show.

Good guys Vince Gill and Toby Keith will host a concert on April 22 in Oklahoma City to benefit the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Fellow Okies Joe Diffie, Ty England, Katrina Elam, Jimmy Webb, Byron Berline and others are set to perform, too. The concert is a part of the ceremonies surrounding the 10th anniversary of the federal building bombing that killed 168 people, including several children in a nursery. It doesn’t seem like it’s been 10 years, but I remember Toby helping clean up the site and how helpless Vince said he felt when he called and couldn’t reach his mom who worked near the area. Vince and Toby have helping hands.

Speaking of Toby Keith, his Big Throwdown II tour is set for launch June 10 in Charlotte, N.C., with opening acts Lee Ann Womack and Shooter Jennings.

And speaking of Lee Ann Womack, her There’s More Where That Came From CD remains my favorite of 2005.

Shania Twain stopped by Tony Danza’s TV show to promote her music and talk about her scents, smells, odors — maybe it’s fragrances. Shania, soap and water works.

As a movie star, Dwight Yoakam has upcoming roles in Bandidas with Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayak and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones as well as a cameo role in The Wedding Crashers starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. As a singing star, he has a new album titled Blame the Vain due out June 14.

Shameless, here I go again pumping my son Terry Smith’s group, the Grascals. Their debut single, “Viva Las Vegas,” with guest Dolly Parton was released to country radio stations on April 4.

Alison Krauss & Union Station launched their 2005 tour in Chattanooga, Tenn., in February and have hardly been home since. The word I get is that every venue is a sellout, like it should be.

Capitol Nashville has released the late Chris LeDoux’s single, “The Ride,” to radio. According to label chief Mike Dungan, LeDoux’s wife and five children agreed this was the song that captured the spirit of this wonderful man.

Lastly, Tim McGraw has teamed with State Farm and the American Red Cross to raise awareness of the dire need for blood donations.

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Grated Apple Custard.